The Denver Broncos released their 2015 preseason schedule Thursday afternoon, announcing the team will play four familiar opponents in preparation for the season. In week one, the Broncos will go on the road to face the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. In week two, they’ll travel to new head coach Gary Kubiak’s old stomping grounds and face off against the Houston Texans.
Week three, the so-called “dress rehearsal” for regular season play, will feature the Broncos playing their first home game against the San Francisco 49ers, and the final game of the preseason will be a home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Broncos should be well accustomed to playing each of their preseason foes. In the last two seasons alone, Denver’s faced Seattle four times, including two previous preseason engagements. The Texans will be battling the Broncos for the second straight year in the preseason, and Denver’s played the 49ers each of the last three preseasons.
Finally, 2015 will feature the resurrection of what was once an annual game against the Arizona Cardinals. The game was put off last season in favor of a matchup in Dallas against the Cowboys.
In recent years, many media members covering the league have questioned the very existence of the preseason. In 2013, CBS Sports’ columnist Gregg Doyel wrote a scathing piece calling for the elimination of the preseason altogether. “Preseason football is a joke,” Doyel wrote, “It’s always been a joke. It will always been a joke.”
However, for those playing or working inside the NFL, the preseason is often the only chance teams have to evaluate themselves. Last year, New York Giants owner John Mara told the Washington Post’s Mark Maske, “A number of people, including myself, believe you need four games to evaluate your players.”
This preseason is one of the most important in Broncos history. With questions surrounding the future of the quarterback position, and both the offensive and defensive schemes, these four preseason games will give players and fans their first chance to see Gary Kubiak’s system in action.
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